Opinion: A year neither all good nor all bad

How did 2019 treat you? Was it one of your best years or one you’d much rather forget? For many of you, I suspect it was neither all good nor all bad. Such was the case for us.

The year started off with a literal bang when a woman who should have known better decided to gun her car out of a parking lot directly into the rear passenger side of our van. Suddenly the vehicle we’d taken such meticulous care of over its lifespan was almost worthless. The impact had dented the frame and ICBC refused to fix the damage. That decision led directly to the biggest change in our lifestyle in many years.

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We decided after much debate to not replace the van. Instead we would take public transit whenever possible, walk to most places or, in my husband’s case, ride a bicycle. Friends, relatives and neighbours were skeptical we would be able to pull off our car-free existence.

“You’ll cave,” they mocked us. Well, so far we haven’t and it was our turn to laugh when the public insurer, in an effort to pay down the enormous deficit, hiked up insurance rates. And the great reveal of the gas companies gouging everyone left us unmoved.

Our next major challenge for 2019 was some surgery I had in summer. I’ve already detailed it in a previous column so I won’t repeat myself here but suffice to say it wasn’t a positive experience and not one I want to repeat anytime soon. Again I say, wear sunscreen folks.

We had some wonderful trips last year. Beginning with an extended stay in Mexico last winter that saw us miss the February from hell and ending with a long weekend in Edmonton to visit family, we managed to leave town almost every month in 2019. The beauty of being retired is the opportunity to travel when we can afford it. One of the highlights last fall was a trip to the Peace River country to celebrate a high school reunion. Considering the list of friends who have passed grows in leaps and bounds after every visit, it was a trip well worth taking.

The year ended on a sad note with the death of two long-time friends. That makes me determined this year to keep in touch with people I value. No time is guaranteed to us. To all of you a very happy, healthy new year.

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